The happiness of a marriage is threatened by a sudden sexual attraction between two old friends, this attraction exists only in a virtual reality video game. A cab driver stricken by loss attempts to avenge the death of his lover on a tech company. The life of a music superstar is almost ended by her manager, but not without salvaging her creative memory for posthumous use of creating new music.
These are all valid concerns – threat to family, grief and loss of a loved one, exploitation of creative talents – and technology is at the very center of it. What we conveniently don’t acknowledge, however, is the obvious fact the core premise of Black Mirror is humanity’s penchant for the extreme. Technology is only a case study in the series. The evil in us, when unchecked, has the uninhibited ability to be extremely dangerous and damaging.
On June 5th, Netflix released season 5 of Black Mirror consisting of 3 new episodes titled “Striking Vipers”, “Smithereens” and “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”. The episodes are as dark and foreboding as usual. The choices of music are haunting. Irma Thomas’s “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is” make a brief cameo in episode three, sung in the voice of Ashley. The song is a regular on the series.
Also, the actors’ performances were remarkable especially Irish actor, Andrew Scott who plays the role of a cab driver trying to avenge his lover’s death in “Smithereens”. Miley Cyrus’s interpretation of a role was spot on. She even gets to do what she is best known for: sing.
While some reviewers think season 5 to be underwhelming, I think it is just as dark and engaging as it has ever. The point is made and taken.
Season 5 of Black Mirror is available for streaming on Netflix.